Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Collection of honey kicks off in Sunderbans


WBFDCL is offering a price of Rs 300 per kg for grade A and Rs 265 per kg for grade B honey

KOLKATA: Honey collection in Sunderbans kicked off from Wednesday with the Forest Division of South 24-Parganas issuing boat licenses (BLC) to traditiona­l honey collectors so that they can venture into the deep forest.

“About 91 teams comprising 430 members were issued BLC with a target of collecting 10 MT (metric tonne) honey. They were provided with masks, sanitiser, gloves, collection jars and most importantl­y, they have been covered through an insurance amounting Rs 2 lakh,” Milan Kanti Mandal, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), South 24-Parganas said. The honey collection process will be held for two months.

The entire honey collected will be purchased by West Bengal Forest Developmen­t Corporatio­n Ltd. (WBFDCL). The honey is graded in two categories – A and B — with WBFDCL offering a price of Rs 300 per kg for grade A and Rs 265 per kg for grade B. Last year, Rs 250 per kg was offered for A grade and

Rs 225 per kg for B. The honey refractor machine is used for sorting the honey based on its moisture content and thus graded. Meanwhile, the honey collection process under the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) will start from April 5. “We expect to start the process of issuing BLCs from April 3 and have a target of collection of 2500 kg of honey this year, “Rajendra Jakhar, field director of STR said.

The STR held meetings with the village representa­tives and crude honey gatherers of the JFMC (Joint Forest Management Committee) areas where the traditiona­l facts and facades of the honey collection procedure were thoroughly discussed. Sunderbans honey was registered and recognised as a GI (Geographic­al Indication) product in January 2024.

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